Thursday, January 31, 2019

Confused... equities, buildings, jobs...

---Amazon's choice of New York's Long Island City for a primary east coast location, split with D.C., continues to arouse opposition in that neighborhood and beyond, and on the New York City Council.  Demands for an agreement to recognize a union from the outset are rife.  With hourly wages at a minimum estimated by the company to be between $17 and $23 an hour, in an area of Queens that has few such jobs, shouldn't that be welcome.  Things will change.  The immediate area around Amazon will be developed.  But think about this.  Five minutes further out on the 7 train there are tons of workers who would welcome those jobs.  For the highly skilled tech jobs, many will live in Manhattan or close to the facility.  The pols want attention, their take.

---A city commission of unknown patricians wants to make The Strand a "landmark" building.  The owners of The Strand, the iconic New York City bookstore, want no part of it.  The actual building is typical of its area, at 12th street and Broadway.  The owner says "leave me alone".  Being a landmark building has significant burdens.  All construction or improvements of any type, interior or exterior, would need to be approved by this commission.  It is an incredibly tedious process.  Kathy's father owned a landmark building downtown.  When the area was not so safe, he put a steel door at the front.  The Commission objected.  He had tenants that he wanted to be safe and businesses there as well.  It was unpleasant, he was fined, but did not give in.  The harassment continued until the building was eventually sold.  Last I looked a few years ago, the new owners had not improved or touched the building, and there were no permanent businesses there at the time, a historic building in inventory.

---The stock market is befuddling, at least here that's the only clear thought.  Up today, what's next tomorrow.  Banks down today.  Visa down 4% and Master Card up 3%, two similar mid-cap tech stocks invested in a few months ago have been different, one up 40% since then, the other down 15%.  Five small to medium cap techs bought on a day in December when I was bored(DBX,  DXC, ON, SQ, SPOT) were in the aggregate down 30% two weeks ago and now are up 15%.  PYX, a recent addition mentioned here previously, bounces like a ping pong ball week to week, up 25% in the last two days, making it up 12% since purchased.

The point --- finding patterns here is difficult.  Finding value is not easy.  It was once said that value stocks were a value for a reason.  Famous investors and analysts always made their reputations by sifting out the best of that bunch.  Those types of leaders don't seem to be visible now, and the jabber on CNBC is no help.  Still trying, after all these years, and doing ok.

Postscript:  Fidelity index funds for Extended Market, Total Market, and S&P 500 were all up by 0.88%, absolutely identical, first time that has ever been seen.  Is this why they call it  programmed trading?


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